Canadian Festival Celtic Colours International Festival Announces 2011 Line-up

Ashley MacIsaac
The line-up for 2011 Celtic Colours International Festival was announced on Monday and organizers are excited about what’s in store for their 15th Anniversary.

Celtic Colours will be exploring our Cajun and Appalachian connections in 2011 with this year’s Artists in Residence: songwriter Ron Bourgeois from Cheticamp and Old Time Appalachian fiddler and singer Bruce Molsky from the US.

We’ll be getting to know more about our Celtic cousins to the South as we broaden our understanding of the roots and branches of Celtic traditional music,” says Joella Foulds, the Festival’s Artistic Director. “An emphasis on song this year will help tell the story of the connections and how they came to be.”

Celtic Colours opens October 7 with a concert in Port Hawkesbury called “Distant Sons and Daughters” and closes October 15 with a concert featuring the Barra MacNeils and guests from throughout the festival in “The Barra MacNeils’ Celtic Roots and Branches” at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion in Sydney.

This closing concert is one of a couple of special projects being featured at Celtic Colours this year. The October 12 concert “Women of Song” will bring together eight outstanding women singers from Scottish, Appalachian, Acadian, Gaelic and Cape Breton traditions, and the October 13 concert “My Old True Love: The Songs that Bind”, will explore the shared Scottish/Appalachian history through an intimate song circle.

The Acadian roots of Cajun music will be celebrated in the Acadian communities of D’Escousse and Cheticamp, and of course there will be plenty of Gaelic songs and Irish tunes throughout the Festival.

Along with the usual shows dedicated to Cape Breton fiddlers, piping, guitar, piano, Gaelic song and dancing, concerts will also celebrate the contribution of legendary Cape Breton composer Dan R. MacDonald, and pay tribute to Alice Freeman for hosting ceilidhs in Inverness for over 20 years.

Festival organizers are very excited to welcome the Black Family from Ireland for the first time including sister Mary Black, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet from Louisiana, dancer Nic Gariess, and Appalachian singer and banjo-player Sheila Kay Adams.

Popular performers from past festivals visiting this year include Blazin’ Fiddles, Dougie MacLean, Karine Polwart, Archie Fisher, Ron Hynes, James Keelaghan, Cathy Ann MacPhee, and Anna Massie. Returning from last year are Old Man Luedecke, Tim Edey, Lewis MacKinnon, Niamh Ní Charra, and the MacKenzie Brothers.

Artists new to the Festival this year include Ireland’s Alan Kelly Quartet, the April Verch Trio from the Ottawa Valley, Scottish Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, and Cape Breton’s own bluegrass legends in the making Crowdis Bridge.

And of course, no Celtic Colours would be complete without favorites like Ashley MacIsaac, J.P. Cormier and the Elliot Brothers, Mary Jane Lamond, Wendy MacIsaac, Carl MacKenzie, Winnie Chafe, Howie MacDonald, Brenda Stubbert, Doug MacPhee, Dave MacIsaac, the Colin Grant Band, Glenn Graham, Rodney MacDonald, Marc Boudreau, Douglas Cameron, Maybelle Chisholm McQueen, Dwayne Cote, Troy MacGillivray, and Kimberley Fraser.

As usual, Celtic Colours will present a full complement of Cultural Experiences in communities all around Cape Breton Island and the nightly Festival Club at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s.

Tickets for Celtic Colours International Festival go on sale July 11, 2011. They can be purchased at the Festival Box Office, located at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion in Sydney, online, or by phone—567-3000 (local) or 1-888-355-7744 (toll free). For the complete lineup of Celtic Colours, to view video highlights from 2010, or purchase tickets, visit www.celtic-colours.com.

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